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A Day at the National Slate Museum

When we visited Wales at Easter one of the first days out we did was to the National Slate Museum in North Wales, situated at Dinorwig Quarry which closed in 1969.

What is the National Slate Museum?

The National Slate Museum is a fantastic museum dedicated to teaching visitors about the rich slate mining history in Wales, the skill and processes involved and the impact it has had on the landscape and the Welsh communities.

National Slate Museum

The museum is free to enter, and you just need to pay to park. When you arrive you’re given a map of the site with a numbered route to work your way through. You could easily spend a whole day at the National Slate Museum but, as the weather was so bad when we visited, we only stayed a couple of hours.

National Slate Museum

Things to do at the National Slate Museum

The National Slate Museum visit starts with a visit to the Chief Engineer’s House, showing what life was like in 1911, followed by a self guided tour of the workshops, forges, iron and brass foundry.

National Slate Museum
National Slate Museum

There’s the loco shed that is home to Una, a 0-4-0 61cm gauge steam engine built in 1905 and water-powered machinery – along with the fantastic waterwheel that you can climb to the top of and see working in all its glory. It’s actually the largest waterwheel on the British mainland.

National Slate Museum
National Slate Museum

There are also rooms full of photographs, relics and reconstructions of mining through the years so you can see how things have changed – and how so much is still done as it would have been decades previously.

National Slate Museum
National Slate Museum
National Slate Museum

There are also worker’s cottages to explore, a cute little play area and demonstrations throughout the day. We were lucky enough to see slate being split and cut to size which was eye opening – and educational too!

National Slate Museum
National Slate Museum
National Slate Museum

The National Slate Museum has a little cafe that is great for a pitstop – with hot and cold food and drinks available. They also allow picnics and there are toilets on site as well and a lovely gift shop just before you leave.

National Slate Museum
National Slate Museum
National Slate Museum
National Slate Museum

We loved visiting the the National Slate Museum. It was a great way to learn more about the Welsh slate industry and how it has changed over the years – as well as seeing slate cutting in action! We’d definitely go back on future trips to the area.

You can find out more about the National Slate Museum over on their website and for reference the address is: Llanberis, Caernarfon LL55 4TY

National Slate Museum

Author

  • Donna Wishart

    Donna Wishart is married to Dave and they have two children, Athena (12) and Troy (11). They live in Surrey with their two cats, Fred and George. Once a Bank Manager, Donna has been writing about everything from family finance to days out, travel and her favourite recipes since 2012. Donna is happiest either exploring somewhere new, with her camera in her hand and family by her side or snuggled up with a cat on her lap, reading a book and enjoying a nice cup of tea. She firmly believes that tea and cake can fix most things.

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